I needed some brow powder for traveling & didn't want to spend much, so I figured I couldn't lose with good old Maybelline. I read through all the MUA reviews & followed the advice of others with my coloring, i.e. brunette w/black brow hair, who recommended Light Brown. They were spot on - even in the store, you can tell that the Dark Brown shade is red-based while the Light is more ash/taupe. It's a well-known makeup artist trick to use taupe on dark hair because it blends in (reddish tones have too much contrast & stick out). Very natural-looking. My sole gripe is that it could be just a shade darker, but since I usually define my brows with a little taupe pencil in addition to the powder, it won't be a problem. The tiny brush is actually the right tool since the bristles are stiff & the package is neat & slim. I've used MAC (of course discontinued) & Clinique powders before but no more wasting extra $ - Maybelline works.
This is L'Oreal's latest version of long-wearing lipstick, and the best in my opinion. I've never liked any brand of long-wearing l/s because they were invariably so dry & ultra-matte or felt like a coat of paint. Like the Infallible gloss, this is different: somehow, they managed to get a smooth & comfortable texture into it. Now, it isn't moist & creamy like my very favorite l/s (EL Signature or even L'Oreal Colour Riche) but that's not to be expected for this type of product. However, it feels quite nice & even has a sheen to it. It will last quite a while if you let it set for a few seconds after applying it, perhaps not 8 hours, but much longer than a standard l/s. There's an assortment of pretty shades - so far, my favorite is Eternal Rose (natural rosy pink). I'm not crazy about the packaging (L'Oreal needs to get rid of all its big clunky l/s tubes), but it sure does stay closed tight. Well worth the purchase with a drugstore special or coupon.
I've been buying this ever since Rimmel hit the U.S. several years ago, but it seems to have disappeared. Hopefully it's only temporary since the British version has been repackaged & reformulated (I got a couple of tubes at a good price on EBay), & perhaps that's a sign that they'll roll out the new version here. The packaging is a big improvement & it seems as though there's more product. Also, they got rid of the nasty smell from the last version - I'm usually not too sensitive but I just couldn't get past it. The shade is the same ideal pink brown but the finish seems glossier. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that Rimmel releases it here.
I've been a big Revlon fan for many years, so I have a lot of their l/s. You can't beat the value, especially since they reformulated the Super Lustrous l/s. However, for some reason I forgot about this shade for a while - found it recently in my stash & can't imagine why. I think this is a great substitute for the famous MAC Twig, a great color in an inferior, very dry formula. This is half the price at full retail and much less if you get a deal. SL is equal & often superior to many expensive brands, and reminds me why, back in my youth, Revlon was sold in the best department stores alongside those brands.
BB Cream -MISSHA - M Signature Real Complete B.B. Cream SPF 25 PA++
stellina 11/10/2010 7:44:00 PM
Since Missha started selling online in the U.S., I've tried several of their products including the famous BB creams. I got this after going through the Perfect Cover BB & while it's a good product, I prefer the Perfect Cover. I will say that this is more moisturizing, so dry skin types would probably like it better, but it's also more fluid in texture & doesn't cover quite as well. However, the packaging (as with many Missha products) is very nice & it has no noticeable fragrance. I've found Missha to be a great online merchant. They run frequent specials & with this last order, they enclosed a full-size BB base and cleansing oil in addition to a handful of samples!
Liquid -Estee Lauder - Maximum Coverage Foundation
stellina 10/11/2010 8:05:00 PM
I had a procedure a few months ago that left me with a small but noticeable scar high on my chest, so I've been hunting around for a "super-concealer." There are quite a few of those but they're either hard to find, even online, or actually very expensive for the tiny amount that you get. Then I heard about good old EL, which is sold everywhere, and got the last of my shade (Creamy Vanilla) at my local counter. Perfection! Not heavy or cakey yet fantastic coverage, doesn't require setting powder, doesn't rub off on my neckline, lasts all day, and since it's sold as a foundation, you get a lot of product. So far I've only used it on my scar & a few spots on my neck but I'll be using it under my eyes when I finish the remainder of my other concealer. I could also see using it for special occasions when I want everything to be covered. EDIT: I tried this on a full face today and I'm in love! Looked & felt natural & lasted all day with just one powder touch-up. I was amazed how little I used to cover my entire face (used a little extra for problem spots). P.S. According to the EL rep at my counter, this is one of their best sellers & they are definitely not discontinuing it. I did run across an online post saying that EL is reformulating it to include more shades, which would be helpful as there are only 4 right now.
Hair Color -Unlisted Brand - Fanci Full Touch Up Stick
stellina 9/30/2010 5:51:00 PM
This is a review for the Roux Tween Time stick, which I believe is the same thing, perhaps in a different package. Lately the grey hairs have been coming in more frequently, especially around my part, and my hair color doesn't last as long on them. I don't want to color my hair more frequently since it can be damaging, so a touch-up product was in order. When I went to the beauty supply, I had the new marker-type products in mind but they were over twice the price. Then I recalled a friend telling me about this handy little stick - it does the job! The trick is to wet it just a bit. I've had good luck using the stick directly but another reviewer had a great idea about using a wet paintbrush - it is indeed like the old-fashioned watercolors for children. I'll never be without one.
Thanks to Jordana & NYX, I am done spending lots of money on lip pencils (with the exception of MAC Spice, for which there is no duplicate). I pulled out Toast the other day after seeing Smashbox coming out with a series of nude l/p keyed to skin tones - it seems just like the shade they had for medium skin. Jordana's site describes it as "pink chocolate" & that's accurate. I also have their Natural pencil & this is a shade darker & pinker, which actually works better on my skin tone (C/NC25). It reminds me of a Prescriptives pencil that I bought for years which was 1/2 the size & cost over 10x more. Looks great with a ton of lip shades and costs a buck at Walgreens - how can you ask for more?
I'm not into the whole high-tech mascara trend. In fact, my staple basic mascara is good old Great Lash and I don't care if everyone on MUA hates it... however, I've been keeping a second mascara on hand when I want a more dramatic look. Sadly, my beloved Max Factor has fled these shores so I've been trying a few replacements, but until now none have been quite what I wanted. The Falsies just might be it, though. My primary need is volume since my eyelashes are fairly long already but I do like the boost in length that this gives - it's not overdone or spidery-looking. The brush really isn't that difficult to use: start with the "spoon" side to lay on a coat & then turn it to the sides to comb through - really not complicated. The formula is a wetter one, like Great Lash, and that's an advantage because you have time to apply all the coats you want. The result is a pretty, "fringey" look. I've never worn false eyelashes so I can't compare but I'm quite happy with this mascara.
When I first started wearing makeup in my early teens (long ago!), my mother gave me an Elizabeth Arden eyeshadow pencil that she had bought for a wedding & used once. I think it was called "Sunlit Lime" and how I loved it - it made me feel so grown up & chic, and everyone told me how pretty it looked on my brown eyes. It was a light, soft lime green with gold shimmer and I never found anything to replace it until now. I've been on this retro kick, looking for those great 60s - 70s type pastel shades, & as fate would have it, I was checking out the rainbow of eyeshadows at the MAC counter & found Juxt. It's just right - the other 2 similar shades, one of which is in the new collection, were too olive or green. Normally I don't but MAC e/s in the pot since I have the palettes, but since they don't sell the refill pans where I live & I wanted some immediate gratification, I bought it. I believe it's the Satin formula which is a subtle frost, not the teenybopper glitter of certain others from MAC. It's the perfect summery, beachy shade & would look smashing with a tan.
Scrubs -St. Ives - Apricot Scrub Blemish and Blackhead Control
stellina 6/20/2010 12:31:00 PM
This spring, I was resolved to do something about the KP on my arms & face, so I read up on some of the KP forums. Salicylic acid was highly recommended by many people so first I tried the Glytone body wash & lotion, which I think is overpriced and not as effective as the combination I discovered later, Keralyt gel and this scrub. I had first tried the Keralyt on my face & when I saw how well it was working, I tried it on my arms but there, it works much better when the skin is exfoliated first. Many of the KP folks recommended a scrub with salicylic acid & this one was the least expensive, so I figured I had nothing to lose. The apricot kernels are what makes it so effective - last summer I had tried Neutrogena's body scrub which had the jojoba/wax type grains and it really didn't work at all. The St. Ives really smoothes out the bumps and leaves a clean surface for the Keralyt to penetrate into the pores. I'll use up the Glytone but from now on, I'm stocking up on this.
I've been looking for an affordable brow pen for ages and this is it. I got the Dark shade and was happy to find that it's a dark taupe, i.e. no reddish brown tones that are a dead giveaway on my very dark eyebrows. The brush applicator is easy to use and if you control the application and use light strokes, it will look very natural (overdo it and it will indeed look painted on). Best of all, it tints the grey hairs, something a pencil cannot do. It outlasts powders & pencils by a mile. I may very well give up pencils for good, or at least as long as I can get my hands on this.
Another great find at the drugstore. I was a college student in the early 80s & I've been trying the cat's eye liner look again, so I thought I'd try this based on the reviews (I'm sure I used it back then but it's been so long, I forgot...). I'm very glad I did - I've attempted the look with gels and felt-tip pens without much success. All liquid liners take practice but this takes less because it has a shorter handle and a smaller brush, and it's not too wet. The packaging isn't too exciting but it separates it from other liners with overly long handles that don't give enough leverage to keep your hand steady - in fact, the size & shape of the bottle hasn't changed in decades although the color & design is different. Actually, it would be cool if they brought back the old design... Anyway, I got the brown and it covers well with even one stroke, so I'll be getting the black next.
Lipstick -Revlon - Moon Drops Frost - Gold Dipped Rose 718
stellina 5/9/2010 11:37:00 PM
The name is something of a misnomer since this isn't really gold or rose, but it's a pretty shade nonetheless. I'd say it's a light frosted tawny pink, warm and flattering, fabulous with a real or enhanced tan. Revlon l/s are such bargains so you really can't lose.
Lipstick -Revlon - Moon Drops Frost - Crystal Cut Coral 700
stellina 5/9/2010 11:31:00 PM
I'm a big Revlon l/s fan and a lover of anything coral, so this was calling my name when I saw it on sale. Very 60s mod frosted pink/peach, a flattering summery shade that would be great with a tan. I can wear it straight from the tube, which surprised me since it's light & frosty and I'm olive-toned (NC25), although over a bit of balm or with a slick of gloss on top makes it even better. And best of all, it's a bargain since there are always BOGO sales somewhere.